Today, I am thankful for the tremendous grace God gives each and every one of us. This morning in church, we got to hear the story of a girl who accepted Christ just a few months before her life was ended in a car accident a couple months before she graduated from college. She came to know Christ when she unexpectedly found herself needing a roommate her last semester and God placed a Christian who walked out her faith every day and was everything this girl needed at that time. Though this girl assumed she was too much of a screw up, her new roommate helped her come to know His grace. And now, her story continues to be told because she wrote it all down and her family chose to share it. It brought tears to my eyes this morning as I listened and again as I write about it now. God loves us and he pursues us despite all we do and have done and we are forgiven through Christ all because of grace. Amazing, indeed.
Today, I am thankful for the joy that only comes from being a child of God. It's been a long week (despite having Monday off of work). Dr. D has had midterms every week for the last few weeks and this week was no different. Basil is sleeping even less well than usual. Two old aches/injuries that flare up from time to time are both making an appearance this week. And this whole day I felt just a little out of sync, a half step off of where I needed to be. And there are times when that would have all piled up and I would have found myself snapping at the kids, getting frustrated over the smallest of things, feeling worse and worse. But this morning when I could already tell it might be one of "those" days; I chose to focus on the joy that comes from Him. And though I am still tired and sore and not feeling even close to my best, I am thankful for that joy.
Today, I'm thankful for impromptu mini adventures. We drive by this train almost every day and Basil ask if we can stop most of those days. We're always rushing home or to somewhere else or it's raining or it's been raining and it's too wet or...there's always a reason. But today, as we approached the train again, I felt a nudge to stop. Basil didn't even ask today, probably because it's been deferred so many times before. And despite the big to-do list waiting at home, I decided to embrace the beautiful fall day and answer that nudge. Moments later, we were out of the car and the kids were joyously running though the leaves to explore the train. It was still wet from yesterday's rain, but that didn't dampen the fun in the least. They loved walking all around the train and happily posed for pictures at every side. It was the best kind of adventure, unplanned and full of joy!
As I mentioned on Friday, I am very thankful for my church family. Moving is stressful in so many ways, but one of my biggest worries when we moved last year was finding a new church home that we'd love as much as the one we were in before. Looking back, I realize I had no reason to worry because God has a plan and knows where He wants us to be. We visited our church on a recommendation from our pastor at our previous church. It's much smaller than we were used to but it immediately felt like just the right fit! We were welcomed and quickly connected with others and in church ministries. In what felt like no time, all of us had built relationships there and had connections outside the four walls of the church as well. A couple weeks ago Basil needed boots for a field trip and I couldn't find any (apparently those go out of season early!). I immediately thought of one of her friends from church, connected with them and had boots for Basil to wear on the field trip. It's the little things. It's a great group of people to worship with, grow with, be supported by, and celebrate with!
My husband is the best partner. Whether it's trading off on getting up with a restless preschooler who still isn't a great sleeper or sharing the household chores, I always know that we are living our life together side by side. I am thankful for the incredibly hard working man that he is as he studies hard for classes and works to do his best, but also makes time for our kids and me. I love that he recognizes what I need, sometimes even before I do, and then supports me in meeting that need. Sometimes that looks like time together and some times it's taking care of the kids so that I can do something on my own.
And in addition to the team work and the support, I am thankful for the great conversations, the fun times we have together as a couple and as a family, and dozens of other ways that he is the best partner. God has truly blessed me with him.
Today, I am thankful to be able to connect with other Christians. We are so blessed in this country to be able to go to church publicly and have Bible studies in our homes that aren't held in secret. Dr. D is part of a Christian veterinary fellowship and they have a weekly Bible study meeting that is open to spouses as well. It's so fun and filling to get together every week with this group, hang out, and spend time in the Word. We have an awesome church family as well, but that's another post. :)
I try to encourage thankfulness in our home all the time, and most days end with a recognition of something we are thankful for. But it's also fun to take the month of November to be specific and purposeful about it. So today on this first day of November, I am thankful for the compassion I see in my kids. Today, when they saw I was sad about something, both stopped what they were doing and gave me great big, sweet hugs. Those hugs are wonderful comfort and the fact that they responded so quickly and thought nothing of walking away from their play made them even sweeter.